Stefan's Insights: July 2008
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Watch out - a new term: "Staycation"

ABC News Special Report ident, circa 2006Image via Wikipedia
I am always surprised at the rate of innovation on the Internet. There is not one day where there is not something completely new and 'revolutionary' coming up. Well, sometimes the 'revolution' will only last for a day or so, but sometimes you can see early warnings/indications of things that will be big.

Watch out for 'Staycation'.
I simply call it: Staying home. :-).
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Rattle and Share Insight: Moving one computer from Windows to Linux

Designed for Windows XP computer hardware logoImage via WikipediaIt has been written about so many times on the Internet, but here I go..

My main computer in my office (running Windows XP home) stop booting to completion and would not even allow me to fix things in Safe Mode. Since I have been moving to a portable work environment (USB stick & portable apps), I have been mostly working on my laptop anyway, needing the main computer only for things that require a large monitor.

So I did some research on Linux.. what was important to me:
-Easy to use interface.. my preference was going towards to the easy and speed of KDE against the flashiness of Gnome.
-Ease of update, progressive community of developers, history of stability and problem solving
-WIRELESS.. big issue in the Linux community. Once I am ready to move my laptop over, I would not want it to be a major issue to get wireless working.

My research led me to a linux version.. aka Distro.. or distribution.. called Mepis.

A lot of technical and end-user reviews have praised Mepis for its ease of installation, hardware recognition (wireless!) and its stability.

So I went to download it, burn it on a 'Live CD', resize an existing partition and install it. Sounds difficult, but was a breeze.

A 'Live CD' is a great tool. It allows you to run a live-cd version of a Linux without actually installing it, creating the opportunity to use it and experience it without any additional work on your side. Once you decide you like it, you can install it.

If you.. like many.. have used all your computers available storage space for Windows, you may have to resize an existing partition with some storage room available. While I had some concern about this, GParted was easy to use and did an excellent job without any problems.

The Mepis installation program took care of everything.. starting GParted.. starting the installation, installing the dual-boot (so you can still have a choice to boot windows too), initial configuration and reboot.

I have to say - Mepis - has been a great experience so far. Installation was simple, and using it is easy too. It has everything I need, is very fast and customizable to any degree I wish.

If Linux distros like Mepis had a toll-free support hotline...

Two thumbs up, MEPIS !
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